Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Season of HOPE

Easter is upon us. It is tempting to say that Easter has come and gone but if you pay attention to the Church year, you come to know that Easter lasts for 7 weeks. It isn't over and done with. The morning celebrations are finished. The colored eggs have been eaten, made into egg salad or deviled eggs or thrown away. The chocolate bunny has lost his ears - and maybe more. The Easter dinner may be history, with the leftovers eaten on Monday. But Easter continues on! Hurrah for that. He is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We had "The Season of the Cross" during Lent this year. The "seasons" continued on into the Holy Week celebration. For the Sunrise service, we had "The Season of Hope." The resurrection of our Lord from the dead, His bodily coming from the tomb to new life, gives to us hope in the midst of the hopelessness of the world. Our lives have much hopelessness. Without Christ's resurrection, that hopelessness touches not only our lives but also our deaths. When we die, we would be condemned eternally, living in hell without the love and presence of our Lord. Death would indeed be the last great enemy that we could not defeat.

But Christ defeated that enemy. He faced death, going into the grave itself, totally and completely encompassed by death and the grave only to burst the bonds of death and the grave on that first Easter morning. As the stone is rolled from the tomb, Jesus rises victorious for us, giving to us the Season of Hope.

HOPE - what is is it? I used the acronym HOPE. Hearts Overflowing with Power and Excitement. Our hearts that are crushed and defeated by sin, death and the devil, are given new life in Christ's resurrection. New life comes to our hearts in the waters of our Baptism as we die to sin and rise to a newness of life. Those very Hearts are Overflowing - even as our cup overflows, not with what we have filled it with (which would be only sinful desires and wishes) but those very Hearts are Overflowing with Power - the Power of Jesus Christ who is the Son of God who has risen from the dead just as He said He wold. Those very Hearts Overflow with Christ's Power for our daily lives. He brings life, forgiveness, hope, peace, joy and eternity to each and everyone that believes in Him. His Power Overflows from Hearts which are given new life in Him. Those very Hearts also Overflow with Excitement! There is great Excitement as we peer into the tomb and see the clothes but no body. There is Excitement as we hear the words, "your sins are forgiven." There is tremendous Excitement as we receive the body and blood our Savior in the Sacrament.

Season of Hope - Hearts Overflowing with Power and Excitement. May your days be filled with that Season even as you struggle through the other seasons of life.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

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